11 Things Only Real Pokémon Trainers Will Understand

Pokémon, Pokémon Trainer, Pokémon games, comedy, humor, Pokémon jokes
If you don’t get it, you’re not a real Trainer!

You want to quit this world and join the Pokémon universe.

There are so many reasons for this one that I could write a whole article on it! But we’ve all wanted to ditch this world for the Pokémon one at some point, whether it’s to journey like a real Trainer, meet our favorite characters from the games or show, or just escape this universe. Any reality that sends ten year olds out into the world essentially alone and with very probable chance that they’ll go broke several times (Amulet Coins ruin lives!) just isn’t worried or doesn’t care.

You scoff at all the people who stopped playing after Gen I or II.

When “normal” people (usually in their 20s or 30s by now) learn that you still play, they sometimes say that they “love” Pokémon. Of course, if you ask them if they still play, they’ve almost never played anything past the Game Boy Advance games, let alone Red or Blue! “But I still love Pokémon!” No, not like we do!

It's complicated for a kids' game!

What’s more is that those who didn’t play Gen III and onward missed out on the utterly convoluted metagame that evolved later on, so they still think it’s a game for six year olds! (I mean, it is, but—you know what I mean!) You try to tell them about IVs, EVs, held items, abilities, breeding, friendship, egg moves, egg groups, natures, and more, but they think you’re just exaggerating or at all goes in one ear and out the other because of their preconceived notions!

You have dozens of favorite Pokémon! (And Trainers!)

Having one favorite might’ve been easy when there were only 151, but six generations later? How could you not love so many more?! With over 800 to choose from, there have to be at least 20 or 30 favorites for everyone. Pretty sure I had around that many back when Gen IV was current, and I know the number has grown since then!

And let’s not forget the myriad of Trainers! (With a capital T! Just like the games!) Whether you take more notice of the characters of the day in the show or the Trainer archetypes in the games, players have always been partial to someone or other. (Ace Trainers, anyone? Personally, I’ve always liked Lasses and Hex Maniacs.) And whatever your preference, Ash has had quite a few eye-catching friends throughout his travels, but more on that later…

And you want plushies and figures of them all!

Plushies can definitely rack up an expense over time if you want them of several Pokémon or the many different versions of a single one.

And figurines? Forget it! That’s some strictly otaku business right there! (Who says friends can’t be made of plastic?)

You carry your games with you everywhere, all the time.

Any real Trainer knows that Pokémon training is serious business, especially if you want to play competitively or keep up with the metagame in any capacity. Even if EV training and breeding have been made easier with more recent games, it still takes time, not to mention grinding against the Elite Four for level 100s! Or doing it with an Exp. Share to raise up a lower level Pokémon.

And besides that, it’s just fun! And apparently more so than whatever else you’re doing that day! By now, your friends know that it’s no big deal for you to play at restaurants, parties, in class, when you’re just hanging out, or any other gathering! People just getting to know you quickly realize that it’s just “your thing,” and you astound everyone with your ability to “fully” pay attention to whatever’s going on and your game!

You regularly wear Pokémon accessories and t-shirts to make you feel more like a real Trainer.

As part of your immersion into the Pokémon world (or maybe, your bringing it into the real one), you own at least a few Pokémon t-shirts, and maybe some hats, wristbands, socks, lanyards, belts, bags of all kinds, and keychains—just for good measure. Maybe you’ve even done some plain clothes cosplays during your everyday life! I know I took a pink paint marker to some black monochrome Converse high-tops when Gen VI came out! (And would you believe that I wear a sizable Poké Ball every day too?)

You're annoyed by the people who think it started as a card game or anime.

If you didn’t hear it enough from the anime, the most important part of the Pokémon experience is the never-ending quest to be the best version of yourself you can be! And the only way to do that is by bonding and battling with Pokémon! Knowing that, it only makes sense that the games came first!

But the uninitiated think it’s just about collecting cards or watching cartoons (which, to be fair, are still significant aspects of the subculture), but growing with your Pokémon is what it’s really all about. You can research Pokémon as a scientist, care for them as a breeder, or even become Champion or Top Coordinator, and of course, a Master if you manage to catch ‘em all after doing all the rest.

You try to read people's personalities by the types of Pokémon and strategies they use.

Does using Fire-types make you a passionate or aggressive person? Does using Water-types make you calm and easygoing? Are Psychic-type Trainers actually intelligent and intuitive? Is Dark really the most cunning and sinister type? What does that make Ghost? Mysterious and aloof?

I could go on! (See how much fun it is?) But of course, for strategic purposes, Trainers almost exclusively compose their teams of many different types of Pokémon despite any favorites they might have. Then it’s down to battling style! All-out attacking? Tanks, walls, and stalls? Clever tricks and manipulation? Maybe everyone’s just a different kind of sadist!

Ash Ketchum's romantic obliviousness is infinitely frustrating to you!

A lot of gamers ignore the anime, but many got their start in the Pokémon subculture by watching it as a kid and perhaps just as many have kept up with it. The series continues to bring in new fans at young ages too, and if they’re anything like how I was even then, they noticed two things. Looking how they do, there’s no way Ash’s female friends are ten years old (some of you would probably be in jail in their world), and how is he never attracted to any of them?!

Serena is the best example. (My heart burns for her with the fiery passion of a thousand hells. *ahem*) She had to eke out compliments from Ash for the whole series! And she was the only one who actually had a thing for him! Is he completely aromantic or just a dolt? It’s pretty apparent that the anime wants to portray him as all too focused on battling, but that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t like to see him reciprocate a crush!

And his battling style is all over the place! (And full of plot devices!)

Besides the liberties the anime takes with Pokémon battling—such as using attacks that aren’t actual attacks and having them take advantage of battlefields in ways impossible in the games—Ash routinely gets away with using disadvantageous type matchups. We’ve all seen at least one battle where one of his weakened Pokémon withstood a powerful and super effective attack when it shouldn’t have. Or when he got away with using ineffective moves and fainted an opponent more than a little too easily—you know, for the sake of the plot.

So there are some things that I hope prove who’s a Pokémon poseur! I’m sure that real Trainers can relate to these though!

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I'm not really a Hex Girl, so I play in my own goth band instead. Aside from music and gaming, I write films and comics, and develop my own cartoon. Lollipop Chainsaw is underrated and misunderstood!
Currently Playing: Pokémon Moon, Age of Empires II: HD Edition, Rocksmith 2014
Top 3 Favorite Games:The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Team Fortress 2,
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